Max Olding Death – Obituary | It is with great sadness that we acknowledges the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Max Olding, on Wednesday 19 November 2021. The musical community at UQ recognises Max’s immense contribution across a remarkable lifetime of achievement, as well as his great humanity, humility, gentleness, dignity, and generosity.
Max’s legacy will take time to comprehend, given the scale and scope of his gifts, the depth of his engagement with the world, and the sincerity of his relations with everyone he encountered. Those who had the good fortune of knowing him will mourn the loss of a unique and rare person, in whom musical and human qualities were inextricably linked. Charming, urbane, honest, insightful, gentle yet forthright – these qualities (among many others) could apply as easily to his piano playing as to his personality. While his worldly achievements were great and numerous, it is Max’s musical soulfulness that will resonate for years to come.
Almost every major musical institution in Queensland, (and many beyond), has been enriched by Max’s work. His connection to the University of Queensland School of Music was strongest over the past decade, where he was a beloved teacher of pianists in the Bachelor of Music (Honours) and various postgraduate programs. He received an Honorary Doctorate from UQ in 2011 in recognition of his distinguished career and significant achievements and service to Queensland and Australia.
Max touched the lives of thousands of people through music, often in profound ways. While his passing leaves the world diminished, and we will miss him dearly, Max’s 92 years were a gift, and we are grateful to have walked beside him.
Our thoughts are with Pam, Dene, Nicolai, and the entire Olding family.